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“Poor management, poor service, miserable staff”

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Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Paje
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 8, 2007

Our bad experience with this place started even before we got there -management "forgot" to send a mnibus to pick us up in Stone Town - half a day wasted while waiting!!!!! No apologies on our arrival to the lodge!!!! Then they placed us in a second row bungalow with almost no ocean view although on their website all bungalows appear to be beach front. The lady in the office (owner?) treated us as intruders. Staff looked as miserable as she was. They all looked very unhappy. We had to ask three times to get our mosquito net repaired. Ongoing noise from road construction. Hundreds of wasps around the pool. Very basic accomodation - 1*. Beautiful beach is not enough to justify any stay there. Don't ruin your vacation!

Stayed: August 2006
1  Thank fonthillpilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 - 71 of 473 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2007

We came to stay at the Hakuna Majiwe after spending 10 days on safari on the mainland, and we couldn't have asked for a better place to relax and unwind. The rooms were clean and spacious, with a lovely porch facing the beach. Every cottage was nicely separated so although the resort may have been full, you could almost feel as if you were alone. Great for couples looking for a romantic vacation. The beach was beautiful & the pool was great for swimming. The food was mostly good, and they made great cocktails. We would definitely go back!

Stayed: February 2007
1  Thank TorontoAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2007

Have just returned from eight nights at Hakuna Majiwe. I couldn't have asked for a better place to stay. The staff were welcoming and friendly. Our room was lovely, clean, comfortable and spacious. Each room has a wide veranda which is perfect for relaxing on and making the most of the sea breezes. The beach is uncrowded and unspoilt. Having a swimming pool is a bonus. It is well maintained and large enough for proper swimming. The food is good although they could do with a little more variety on the menu. The service is relaxed (no good if you are in a rush) but the staff are polite and attentive. The bar has a good cocktail list. All in all I though Hakuna Majiwe was the perfect place for a relaxing, get -away-from-it-all holiday. I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Baghdad-Sal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2007

For what you're paying your expecting good standards. No such luck.
The food was average and table and napkins were covered in sand.
When we ordered Crab and didnt even receive shell openers or finger bowls.

Prior enquires to the hotel regarding our transfers had gone unanwered.

The owners only made an effort to mingle with selected guests.

Dull atmosphere and way over priced.

Rooms, Pool and Beach was nice though

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BronwynM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2006

we spent a week at hakuna majiwe at the end of our trip to zanzibar, and were very, very disappointed. it looked so lovely from the website, and the other places we had stayed in zanzibar (pongwe and chumbe island) were both fantastic so we had high hopes for hakuna majiwe, but the reality really was a letdown

the main problem is the staff, who are just totally incompetent, really unhelpful, and often quite surly. they struggle with the simplest of requests, and very rarely go out of their way to be helpful in any way. there is none of the friendliness or chit chat that we got from the staff at the other places we stayed. they were often just rude.

the management is really at fault, and while both the italian owners are always present, they do absolutely nothing to help (even when they can see that their staff are struggling and that their guests are having problems that they could easily remedy), and make no attempt to talk to guests at all.

the place also has absolutely no atmosphere, which we figured was probably to do with the miserable staff and disenchanted guests. all the other guests seemed equally unhappy with the place, and most people went elsewhere for meals and drinks, leaving hakuna majiwe feeling very glum on the nights we were there.

the beach is beautiful in a slightly desolate sort of a way, but is not good for swimming or for lying around on as it is broad and bare and the sea is rocky and has urchins - though the beach is great for walks in either direction. the hotel has a swimming pool, but it is pretty murky and unappealing

the rooms are reasonable, but we were unfortunate enough to have one next to an open sewer that overflowed every time it rained, and the smell was so bad in our room on one of the days that we were both sick

we had a reasonable time there in the end just because we like going for long walks up the beach (and escaping the gloomy vibe at hakuna majiwe) and were coming to the end of holiday so were feeling fairly tolerant, and just because zanzibar is so amazing wherever you're staying. but hakuna majiwe was a million miles from the lovely places we had stayed earlier in the holiday, and i would not recommend it to anyone ever. do not be taken in by the great pictures on their website - we were, and we really regretted it.

we were definitely not alone in how we felt - everyone we saw and spoke to there was very disappointed, and we saw quite few people desperately trying to book into alternative hotels soon after arriving.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TSSLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2006

We started our trip here at HM Lodge, and were initialy feeling insecure about whether the driver would collect us. The phone number they had given us to confirm the time for our collection was incorrect, and we had to search our papers and talk to the locals who finally made the call for us

There was a rather incompetent short little Italian woman behind the desk who didn't seem to know anything about anything and I found her to be hopeless and annoying. WHY be employed there if you have no clue about the hotel? For example, I was looking at the activities that the hotel could arrange, and there was an impressive list of things to do. I asked her about some of them - and her answer was, 'I don't know. That was before my time. Someone else wrote that.'

When we first arrived, we told the guest relations person that we wanted to arrange fishing too. He promised to look into that. But, when we asked the reception about any developments of this request later on that evening, they had no clue what we were talking about. Seems he had gone home. Every day we asked about the fishing trip, and nothing happened. Finally, on the 4th day, a new guy finally arranged something - but we didn't know it was organised. No one told us anything. We went back to the reception on our last night and asked again, and that's when they told us we had a fishing trip booked the next day. It only took 4 days to organise!

Communication was all around VERY bad. It is management all together that's doing this place in. The MD sits like a king around the place...being served meals and sitting at the bar for nightly drinks. The staff themselves were friendly and helpful, and the site is quite striking. The natural beauty of Zanzibar saved this place.

The only other thing I would say is that I was surprised that the MD and owner were Italian - but the coffee SUCKED! We walked down the beach about 20 minutes to find another Italian owned resort - and they had FANTASTIC coffee from the espresso machine.

Don't go for the coffee Go for the quiet and it's best if you have a DO NOTHING attitude.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Culturebee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2006

While the beach is breath taking, especially at low tide, the poor mgmt and indifferent proprietors make Hakuna Majiwe a place I would not stay again. It started with our driver not showing up to collect us at the airport which was not only inconvenient but a little scary since it was pitch black outside and we had to pay a stranger 40 USD to drive us 90 minutes to the hotel. We had tried to call the hotel to find out where the driver was but there was no answer. Then our room wasn't ready when we finally arrived at 10pm and though the manager did apologize there was no offer of dinner or a free cocktail, nothing to try and make it right while we waited almost an hour for our room. Instead, everything was blamed on a manager that had been fired a month earlier even though my confirmation of a room and airport pickup (a week prior to our arrival) had been done via email with one of the current managers. Then at checkout there was problems with the bill, they were trying to charge us twice for one of the nights, and they had lost our flight info and itinerary which THEY recommended giving to them so they could confirm our flight home. Our flights were never confirmed and we ended up getting bumped. The only good service we received was from the wait staff and housekeeping. They were warm, helpful and, most of all, Did Their Jobs! You should definitely go to Zanzibar but avoid this place.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with friends
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5  Thank LVail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge

Address: Paje Beach | South-East Cost, Paje, Tanzania (Formerly Ora Resort Hakuna Majiwe)
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Paje
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Paje
Price Range: $111 - $335 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dotted between the palm trees of Zanzibar's South East Coast, along an unfurling swathe of postcard-perfect coastline, sits Hakuna Majiwe, the Place of No Stones, a site so idyllic that we named our hotel after it. The 21 luxury cabanas of Hakuna Majiwe Lodge are spread out along this quiet, palm-fringed beach, each leading straight out onto the hourglass-fine sands and jade waters of the Indian Ocean. The cabanas pay homage to our host culture, mixing thatched roofs and wooden floors with the intricate ornamental vidaka plasterwork of the Swahili Coast to create a space that is both shamba chic and authentic in style. Walk-in dressing areas, artisan four-poster beds and generous bathrooms ensure that style is complemented by the comforts expected on your holiday. Be it a private honeymoon retreat or hosting your family in our dedicated 5 bed suites, comfort and privacy are always guaranteed. And at the heart of the tropical splendour of our spacious grounds sits the Tradewinds Restaurant, from where our hard-earned reputation for can-do hospitality has been forged. An evolving menu of Swahili-Zanzibari cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients is freshly prepared with International flair each and every day, paired with carefully-selected wines and juices, to create lasting culinary experiences, worthy of your visit. Private dining, with butler service, is always available for those seeking intimate memories to dine for. Jungle Spa and landscaping our expansive, palm-lined pool sheltered in the abundant tropical splendour of the Hakuna Majiwe estate. With a kite school for the more intrepid guests and an excursion centre for the more curious wishing to explore the island, there is always something to do if the relaxation becomes too much. Our home is where our heart is, though, and Life is Always A Beach at Hakuna Majiwe. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ora Resort Hakuna Majiwe Hotel Paje
Hakuna Majiwe Hotel
Hakuna Majiwe Paje
Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge Zanzibar Island/Paje

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